Truth, Understanding, Insight

The great day of Jezreel

14th November 2012, hej


2) The great day of Jezreel: Hosea

The last four places where Jezreel is mentioned are all in the book of Hosea. Hosea lived during the reign of Jeroboam II of Jehu's house who had increased the power of Israel's kingdom, based at Jezreel.

And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. (Hosea 1:4-5)

This seems fulfilled when Jehu's house meets it's end in Jezreel,

In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah (Uzziah) king of Judah did Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass. (2Kings 15:8-12)

From that time no king in Israel had any power. Hosea is told what would happen to Israel after this.

And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. (Hos 1:6-9)

Then there is a change in tone. The prophecy begins with “Yet” or “But”,

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. (Hosea 1:10-11)

Looking at the history of Israel after the end of Jehu's house we see Josiah as king of Judah after the carrying away of most of Israel, ruling over Israel,

He ( Josiah) burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about. And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. (2Chronicles 34:5-7)

When Josiah asks of Yahweh the fate of the nation he mentions first the remnants of Israel,

Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book. (2Ch 34:21)

Though it is not specifically said that Israel made Josiah their king, in effect he was their king.

And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers. (2Chronicles 34:33)

Does this condition fulfil the prophecy of Hosea? The destruction of Jehu's kingdom, which was based in Jezreel, was great. Because of this, many years later, Josiah is able to unite the people of Israel and Judah in their worship.

But it was for a remnant of Israel. Israel in those days was not as many as the sand of the sea. Josiah called them 'those left in Israel'. It was in addition for only a few years. And also despite Josiah's work Yahweh was not happy with the people. Through Jeremiah they are reprimanded in words that remind us of Hosea's whorish wife,

The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (Jeremiah 3:6-8)

Not my people - to my people

The last reference to Jezreel by Hosea ties a few thoughts together. The passage begins,

Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. (Hosea 2:1-3)

He speaks of the utter destruction that came upon Israel and Judah,

And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. (Hos 2:10-11)

Then after that we see the next stage,

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. (Hosea 2:14)

When has Israel been spoken to in the wilderness? Was it not when finally, Britain gave her a place by the Balfour declaration. Weren't they words of comfort?


And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor (Troubled) for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. (Hosea 2:15)

Vineyards were among the first crops to be established with the first Aliyah. Then it came to be that the only entry to the Holy Land was though a door, or entrance, of hope. It is a well known fact that Aliyah-Bet operation to bring Jews to Palestine had a peculiar effect.

“Aliya Bet after WW-II had a huge impact: it brought the sympathy and support of the world public opinion to the Zionist cause, and demonstrated the resolve of the Jewish people to pursue independence. Thus, it was a major factor (with many historians thinking THE factor) in leading the United Nations to pass its historic resolution of the 29th of November 1947, which paved the way to the establishment of the State of Israel...
The Balfour Declaration and the conquest of Palestine by the British armed forces raised the hopes of the building of the Jewish Homeland “in the near future”,
In 1944, when the Soviet Army started its advance to the West, following the German defeat at Stalingrad, the remnants of the Holocaust started to move. Those that were in the Eastern European countries started to move in the direction of Western Europe and the Mediterranean, or the Black Sea, as the start of their journey to the Land of Israel. These desperate and helpless Jews saw Palestine as their only ray of hope.
Jews who had been with the partisans or had been hiding in forests; or who were hiding in monasteries in various countries, gathered in a rising stream and moved in the direction of Aliya, immigration to Palestine. That was the only path left to them despite the White Paper.
The Jews saw Palestine as the only land in which they could renew their lives. This was the result of years of suffering and despair, where Palestine remained their only hope.

From an personal account of an American Jew who illegally immigrated via France and ended up at Cyrus, there is an eyewitness of this hope which he calls 'high morale',

The voyage of the Lanegev was long and arduous, plagued by storms, and at times perilous. It was typical of the voyages of dozens of ships of the Hagana that sailed the Mediterranean during that period. They were usually old ships, overloaded, terribly crowded, and lacking in adequate sanitary facilities. But two things characterized all of them: the high morale of the passengers, who, despite the utter lack of physical comfort, knew that they were at last going home;

The connection of the Aliyah-Bet operation to the declaration of the state of Israel is direct,

American and Canadian involvement in the campaign started with David Ben Gurion's visit to the U.S. immediately after World War II to launch a mobilization of financial and other resources on behalf of early Jewish statehood in Palestine.

This hope expressed is in the names of the illegal ships running the blockade,

Tradewinds/Hatikva (Hope) 1,422 May 1947
President Warfield/Exodus 4,493 July 1947
Paducah/Geula (Redemption) 1,385 October 1947
Northland/Jewish State 2,664 October 1947
Pan York/Ingathering of Exiles 7,557 December 1947
Pan Crescent/Independence 7,612 December 1947
Jewish Virtal Library: aliyahbet

Exodus was the most famous of them. It was made world famous by the events surrounding it and by a book and movie called 'Exodus'. The Exodus captures what Hosea was told. It is also famous that the Jews coming to Israel sang and danced on arrival.

“As in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt” equals 'the Exodus'.

They shall hear Jezreel

The prophet Hosea returns to the theme begun when he penned, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, ...there it shall be said unto them, 'Ye are the sons of the living God.' Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Hosea 1:10-11)

And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shall call me Ishi; and shall call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (Hos 2:16-23)

The language is rich in images. When the people are many again, they become 'sons'. They also become, as a people, 'betrothed' and 'married' to Yahweh. Their land had been cursed, but instead of a curse there would be a covenant of blessing. That blessing would include peace so they can 'lie down'. A people who had wandered and found no rest in the nations, are to be at peace and 'lie down.'

Then Yahweh Elohim will hear the 'heavens', or the rulers, who in turn will hear the 'earth', or the people (in a vast change from serving only themselves). And the people will hear the goodness of the land, and they all shall hear 'El shall sow.' This people will be 'sown' in the earth to bring forth fruit to Yahweh. The indication is that the mercy is an unmerited gift.